2 December 2004 Edition
Sinn Féin supports Dairygold workers
Sinn Féin representative Timmy White received warm applause when he addressed a large meeting held In Mitchelstown to support the 120 workers threatened with forced relocation from Mitchelstown to Cork City.
Timmy White said: "This crisis in Dairygold has been coming down the tracks for a few years, and yet the government and the local political representatives have done nothing about it. Before the local elections we in Sinn Féin warned that unless someone stood up to the present management Dairygold which is the dominant employer in the region would let most of its work force go. A deafening silence was the only response from the other political parties. We need government to urgently look at the employment situation in the area, but we as townspeople must also give our full support to the workers faced with an employer who cares little for them and only sees them as pawns in their strategy to relocate from Mitchelstown.
"The threats from senior management to relocate these workers with no negotiations, no regard for their circumstances is outrageous. We in Sinn Féin fully support the workers pledge not to transfer to Cork and to remain in Mitchelstown."
A trade union representative from the clerical staff said that it was the worst he had ever seen staff treated by any company, whether they were anti-union, anti-worker, or non-unionised. "This is the worst ever case of management disregarding the rights and needs of their workers I have ever come across in my life a s a trade union representative. I have dealt with companies who have shareholders all over the world who can respect their workforce in Ireland, but this company whose shareholders live in north Cork, are treating their fellow people like dirt."